The River Camel

Discover this spectacular hidden gem in North Cornwall's rolling hills

The River Camel, Cornwall

Rising on the windy heights of Bodmin Moor, the Camel winds its way over granite, sandstone, slate and clay to join the sea 30 miles later in Padstow Bay, between the fishing ports of Rock and Padstow.

The River Camel is full of wonders from source to sea: from the beautiful and often protected wildlife that it sustains, like otters, bullheads, salmon and kingfishers, to the quaint towns and villages that seam its banks, it offers plenty of natural and cultural experiences to explore.

The name “Camel” comes from the RIver’s Cornish name “Dowr Kammel”, which means “crooked river”.

The Camel is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – bird hides and woodlands around it provide many places to see this beauty up close.

Get involved on the River Camel

If you love your local river, understand how vital it is to you in your life and share our passion for keeping it healthy for you and your community, then there are many ways for you to get involved. Whether it’s helping on a river clean-up day, becoming a river scientist, going on a river walk or simply making a donation, working together we can help your river bring water to life for many years and generations to come.

It’s great to explore the Camel Valley…

Just before the town of Wadebridge – where a celebration of the river and its importance to the region takes place every year-, at Egloshayle, the Camel falls under the spell of the sea and becomes influenced by the tides.

Its importance as a trading route may have declined since Roman times, but the Camel still offers the keen cyclist or walker the opportunity to follow it all the way from Wenford Bridge past Bodmin to Padstow, using the easily accessible Camel Trail – built on the old tracks of the Bodmin and Wenford Railway line.

Both Padstow and Rock offer many opportunities to enjoy fantastic food, and a view into the estuary at low tide will allow a glimpse of the famous “Doombar” – a sandbank that was the demise of many unwitting ships and that today gives its name to a beer brewed in Rock.

Summer or winter, the Camel is ever-changing, but never disappoints those who come to enjoy its beauty – be it for a few hours or a lifetime.

River Camel Stories

From Roman times to the present day, Westcountry rivers have been an ever-present thread running through our communities, our culture and our heritage. Ever increasingly, we have come to realise how wonderful it is to spend time on, in or near a river and they are so often the backdrop to our fondest memories of days spent outdoors, being active and spending time with nature.

Latest news from the River Camel

Comment: Resilient catchment and communities

Dr Laurence Couldrick, CEO of Westcountry Rivers Trust, discusses catchment resilience There has been a lot of talk about drought in the past few weeks and whilst it has been the driest winter in 20 years our increasingly variable weather patterns are now part of the...

read more

Comment: Environmental Leadership

After a BBC report that the Defra 25 year vision ‘Lacks policies’ and ‘may not even be published’, Dr Laurence Couldrick, CEO of Westcountry Rivers Trust, asks: is that the real problem? If you look at any book on Leadership it will probably quote the African proverb...

read more

Games by the River

Whatever your age, rivers are places where so many happy memories are made. In the Westcountry - where we are never more than 2 miles from a river - we all have so many tales of time enjoyed by the river. River walks, picnics, paddling, camping trips, river games…...

read more